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McCombie and Padilla Rematch for Illinois House

On the ballot next Tuesday, there's a rematch for the Illinois House of Representatives. Once again, Democrat Joan Padilla is challenging incumbent Republican Tony McCombie for House District 71. 

McCombie, from Savanna, is serving her first term in the Illinois House, and she's proud of her bipartisan record.

"You know, we don't talk about that when you're a Republican or a Democrat, what you've done with the other side, but I co-sponsored Dem-carried bills about 57-58% of the time. I said yes on bills with Dems over 80% of the time." 

McCombie says she would support a clean energy bill—as long as it didn't restrict nuclear or coal. She believes Illinois's energy independence is crucial to the state's economy.  

"We can't be in a situation where we don't have that and we only rely on solar, wind, water, because we will get into a situation where we will have to go outside to buy our energy, and then we won't be able to know and be able to control the emissions."

McCombie opposes Gov. JB Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan for COVID-19. She doesn't think there should be a mask mandate or restrictions on businesses.

Democratic candidate Joan Padilla from Sterling disagrees. She says restrictions are necessary, but that doesn't mean the government can't help small businesses, too.

"We need to make sure that we get relief, help, whether financial aid to those small businesses, unemployment benefits to those that are unemployed. So, we are going to have to work very hard to get that up and running, making sure that we provide that, as well as working with the federal government, hopefully, and getting resources to the people in need." 

Padilla doesn't have much political experience, but as executive director of Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center in Dixon, she has some insight into healthcare issues. 

"We do need government; we don't need bloated government. We need government much like a nonprofit organization, which doesn't have an endless stream of revenue coming in but has to be very prudent with spending and always making sure that the programs and services follow the mission. So, that's my goal being down in Springfield." 

Padilla says she supports expanding hemp production in Illinois and financial support for service industries hit by the pandemic. 
In their first contest two years ago, McCombie won by 18 percentage points. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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